WorkCover New South Wales says one of the largest ever fines issues to a Newcastle company for a workplace death is warranted given the seriousness of the accident.
Troy Murrell died after being crushed by a tonne of material at Ullrich Aluminium’s Mayfield factory in September 2007.
It is not Ullrich’s first safety breach, with the company convicted over the death of a worker at its Smithfield plant in Western Sydney in 1996.
WorkCover’s John Watson says the fine for the Mayfield accident is appropriate.
“I guess it’s in recognition of the fact that the risks associated with this tragic matter were foreseeable,” he said.
“The legacy from this tragic death needs to be that employers in New South Wales must take every action they possibly can to provide a safe place of work for their employees.”
WorkCover is using the incident to remind Hunter region workers not to let their guard down in terms of safety, as businesses wind down ahead of Christmas.
Mr Watson says the festive season is a time when safety standards often slip.
“There’s a couple of things that happen at Christmas, first of all with people finishing their school career we have young workers entering the workplace and also of course people do get focussed on the upcoming holidays.
“So really what we need to do is as employees and as managers is to ensure that we keep focussed on making sure that we do follow the procedures.”